V. Key Issues: Population Health >> E. Health Promotion >> Violent and Abusive Behavior (last updated 7.19.16)
- Death Penalty. 31 states have the death penalty, though 7 have dropped capital punishment since 2007. There were 35 executions in 2014. An extensive study in 2009 by criminologists at the University of Texas at Dallas revealed the flaws in earlier studies claiming a deterrent effect and “found no empirical support for the argument that the existence or application of the death penalty deters prospective offenders from committing homicide” (Wall Street Journal, 11.5.15).
- Involuntary Psychiatric Treatment. The current guideline for psychiatric treatment over the objection of the patient is, in most states, imminent risk of harm to self or others. Short of issuing a direct threat of violence or appearing grossly disturbed, a person will not receive involuntary treatment (Richard Friedman, New York Times, 5.28.14).
- Mann Act (1910). Prohibits transporting minors across state lines for purposes of engaging in prostitution.
- Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) (2000). Made “sex trafficking” and “unlawful conduct with respect to documents in furtherance of trafficking” federal offenses; created Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons and gave federal government authority to seize traffickers’ assets (p. 23). The 2003 reauthorization gave law enforcement the authority to use wiretapping to investigate sex trafficking and child sexual exploitation and established “two strikes, you’re out” requirement of mandatory life imprisonment upon a second sex offense involving a minor (p. 23-24).
- Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act (2015). Makes soliciting paid sex from a minor a form of federal sex trafficking; established a Domestic Trafficking Victims’ Fund into which anyone convicted of trafficking must pay $5,000. Websites and publishers (Craigslist, Twitter, Reddit) may be charged with sex trafficking if any victim is found to have advertised there (p. 24).
- In 2014, 31 states passed new laws concerning human trafficking; since the start of 2015, at least 22 states have done so (p. 24). Article includes 3 maps showing how laws vary by state (p. 23-24).
- Uniform Law Commission (ULC). Uniform Act on Prevention of and Remedies for Human Trafficking
Research and Analysis
- “Genocidal killing sprees, by Abram de Swaan’s calculation, have taken more than 100 million lives since the late 19th century, easily four times the toll of combatants in all “regular” wars of the same period.”
- Abram de Swaan. The Killing Compartments. Yale University Press, 2015.
Richard Friedman, director of the psychopharmacology clinic at the Weill Cornell Medical College, New York Times, 5.28.14:
- The vast majority of violent people are not mentally ill and most mentally ill people are not violent. Only about 4 percent of overall violence in the United States can be attributed to those with mental illness.
- People with schizophrenia, major depression or bipolar disorder are two to three times as likely as those without these disorders to be violent.
- The actual lifetime prevalence of violence among people with serious mental illness is about 16 percent compared with 7 percent among people who are not mentally ill.
- Individuals who abuse drugs or alcohol but have no other psychiatric disorder are almost seven times more likely than those without substance abuse to act violently.
- Pregnancies from Rape Prove Tough to Count (Wall Street Journal, 8.25-26.12). The number of pregnancies resulting from rapes has been estimated to be between 25,000 and 32,101. But various estimates have been reported as low as 225 and 83,000. In part this relates to widely varying estimates about the number of annual rapes, which in official government publications range from 64,000 to as many as 1.3 million a year.
- FBI counted about 84,767 forcible rapes (i.e., excluding statutory rapes) in 2010 based on crime reports submitted by local law enforcement agencies.
- Department of Justice National Crime Victimization Survey counted 188,380 rapes and sexual assaults in 2010.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention conducts a victimization survey that counted 1.3 million rapes in 2010.
- Brown, Elizabeth. The War on Sex Trafficking is the New War on Drugs. Reason. November 2015. There are highly inflated estimates of the number of people who are trafficked into U.S. each year for forced sex or labor. From 2000-2002, State Department claimed the figure was 50,000, but subsequently lowered the figure to 14,500-17,500 in later years; today federal agencies simply refer to “thousands.” Media sources have claimed 300,000-400,000 children were at risk annually for commercial sex exploitation, but this is based on a discredited study. From 2007 to fall 2008, 38 sex-trafficking task forces were funded with federal dollars, but only 1,229 suspected incidents were uncovered and only 14 underage victims were found.
- State Department. Trafficking in Persons (2015). These reports have been issued annually since 2001.
- Violent Crime Prevalence. The federal government issues two annual reports on national crime trends: the National Crime Victimization Survey, which includes reported and unreported crimes and is produced by the Bureau of Justice Statistics; and the Uniform Crime Report, which includes only reported crimes and is produced by the FBI.
- NCVS Victimization Analysis Tool (NVAT)is the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) interactive online tool that gives the public instant access to the largest collection of data on criminal victimization in the United States.
- Developmental Estimates of Subnational Crime Rates Based on the National Crime Victimization Survey presents rates of violent and property crime victimization for the 50 states and select metropolitan statistical areas, generated using small-area estimation (SAE) methods. The report describes the statistical modeling approach used to produce state-level estimates from the National Crime Victimization Survey data and auxiliary data sources. It compares SAE victimization rates for the 50 states from 1999 to 2013 to FBI crime rates from the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program. It shows trends in criminal victimization rates for each state from 1999 to 2013. State-level estimates of intimate partner violence are also presented. Excel files provide threeyear rolling average rates of violent and property crime, stranger violence, and intimate partner violence, as well as relative mean square errors for the 50 states, select large counties, and select large Core Based Statistical Areas, from 1999 to 2013. Victimization counts are also provided for the states for threeyear rolling periods from 2005 to 2013.
- Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
- National Archive of Criminal Justice Data. NACJD has released resource guides on Homicide and Violence Against Women.
- Pew Charitable Trusts. Public Safety Performance Project. Conducts and publishes groundbreaking research that sheds light on key criminal and juvenile corrections trends and highlights policies and practices that demonstrate better outcomes at less cost.
- Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
- American Humane Association
- Pacific Center for Violence Prevention (San Francisco)
- Violence Policy Center (Washington, DC)
- Center Against Domestic and Spousal Abuse (CASDA)
- Center Against Domestic Violence (CADVNY)
- Community Action Stops Abuse (CASA)
- Kempe Children’s Center (Denver, CO: child abuse & neglect)
- University of Kentucky | Center for Research on Violence Against Women
- UNODC Homicide Statistics. The backbone of the 2011 Global Study on Homicide, UNODC Homicide Statistics is a collection of statistical data on intentional homicide (unlawful death purposefully inflicted on a person by another person). The dataset covers 207 countries and territories and provides data on homicide levels, trends and contextual characteristics drawn from a variety of national and international sources relating to homicide.
- Uniform Crime Reports (FBI).
- FASTSTATS: Assault or Homicide (CDC).
- Anti-Trafficking Review.
- National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). NCMEC opened in 1984 to serve as the nation’s clearinghouse on issues related to missing and sexually exploited children. Today NCMEC is authorized by Congress to perform 22 programs and services to assist law enforcement, families and the professionals who serve them.
- Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons.
- Polaris Project. One of the nation’s largest anti-trafficking groups.
- San Francisco Suicide Prevention
- Suicide in the United States (CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control)
- Suicide Prevention Advocacy Network (SPAN)
- Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence. The Truth About Suicide and Guns. 85-91% of firearm suicide attempts are fatal. 71% of suicides are attempted by people within an hour of making the decision. Most who survive a suicide attempt do not die from suicide, but because firearm suicides are so potent, using a gun takes away a person’s second chance etc. The presence of a gun in the home makes it 3 times as likely a suicide will occur in that home.